Ballast Point Brewing Company

Don’t forget to enter my Foster Farms giveaway! Ends Thursday, Sep 3 at 11:59PM!

Ballast Point is one of the most famous microbreweries in San Diego, and also one of our favorites! They’ve been expanding from their original tasting room in Scripps Ranch for the past couple of years, including a large brewery restaurant on Miramar. We’ve actually visited several times already, but this is my first post on BP since I remembered to take photos!

Ballast Point Ballast Point

Being science geeks (and beer lovers), we love seeing these giant fermentors.

Ballast Point Ballast Point

The tap list here is constantly changing, since they are always experimenting with new flavors. Of course, you’ll always be able to find Sculpin IPA (and several flavored versions such as grapefruit, tangerine, and habanero) and Victory at Sea, but I always like trying their R&D flavors. S had the “Calm Before the Storm”, a cream ale with Caffe Calabria coffee and vanilla. It was really refreshing and delicious. I tried a R&D beer that included peaches and watermelon – it was really fruity, which S hates, but I quite enjoyed it hehe.

TRUFFLE FRIES [$8]
Ballast Point

The truffle fries were ultra crispy and were drizzled with white truffle oil and topped with parmesan cheese. I never noticed until recently that truffle fries are often paired with cheese, which I actually don’t like because I think the cheese overwhelms the truffle flavor. But I liked these fries, mostly because they’re super crispy.

PORK BELLY & PEACHES [$8]Ballast Point

As the name suggests, this dish pairs crispy pork belly with grilled peaches, and serves them with arugula, ricotta salata (a firm, pressed and dried version of ricotta), and five-spice balsamic honey. The pork belly was wonderfully tender and paired well with the peaches. I liked the cheese and arugula and thought that they added a good amount of saltiness and bitterness to the dish to offset the peaches and honey, but one of our friends still thought that this was on the sweet side.

CRISPY DUCK NACHOS [$15]Ballast Point

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World Curry (20th Anniversary)

World Curry has been thriving in Pacific Beach for 20 years! To celebrate, they are featuring a special $20 menu that will run for 20 days, from August 10-30. We were invited to attend their 20th year celebration, but since S and I were out of town during the party, we went for a separate dinner, together with our friend A.

World Curry 

World Curry 

We rarely venture out to Pacific Beach because of traffic and parking difficulties, but I’m always reminded of how many great restaurants are here every time I visit.

THAI ICED TEA [$3]
Thai Iced Tea 

I started off with a refreshing Thai iced tea. I love the sweetened condensed milk and fragrant Thai tea and could seriously drink this all day.

Here is the special menu being offered for the 20 year celebration. You can also see their regular menu (with all of the curry varieties) here.

Menu 

SALAD
Salad 

The curries came with a side salad to start – made with lettuce, cabbage, and a special house dressing that includes lime juice and tahini. I really enjoyed this, but S found this a bit too tart for his liking.

APPETIZER COMBINATION: NAAN, TIKKA TACO, PHALL POPPER, VEGETABLE PAKORA
Appetizer Combination

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Misc Pics Post, August edition

I realized that I have a smattering of photos from the past many months that never made it into full posts… So, I decided to do one of these “cleaning-out-the-memory-card (as Kirk of mmm-yoso calls it, “COMC”) posts. I’ve also included links to previous posts on some of these places!

PORK BELLY APP & SNACKSHACK PORK BURGER from Carnitas’ Snack Shack:Carnitas' Snack Shack Carnitas' Snack Shack

Carnitas’ Snack Shack is one of our favorite casual restaurants in San Diego. The pork belly app and pork burger, pictured above, are my two go-to items here, although we pretty much enjoy everything that we’ve tried on the menu.

Carnitas’ Snack Shack
Locations in North Park and Del Mar
http://carnitassnackshack.com

ZARU SOBA from Hinotez:
Hinotez

With all the hot weather lately, I’ve been craving cold noodles nearly everyday. …

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Savoie Eatery

Savoie Eatery is a French and Italian restaurant, part of Karina’s Group. Recently, Chef Mikel Anthony took over the kitchen, and we were invited to a “Meet the Chef” dinner to experience the new menu.

Savoie

The restaurant is located in the Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista. It was a bit of a drive for us, especially since we were heading southbound during peak traffic hour, and we were quite happy to finally arrive at our destination. We were led to the restaurant’s beautiful patio, where a big table was set up for the dinner.

Savoie

We milled around a bit at first and chatted with some of the other guests. S and I are still relatively new to San Diego compared with some of the other people we met there, and it was really cool to hear about some of the city’s history.

This was a wine-pairing dinner, but S and I don’t know much about wine. All I know is that the wines came from Quigley Fine Wines, which sells directly to customers and had the coolest sommelier. We enjoyed all four of the wines provided – I didn’t drink much since I was the driver that night, but I was really surprised that S liked them so much since he normally doesn’t like wine at all!

Savoie 

The menu for the evening was quite impressive – the food was Mediterranean-influenced, featuring dishes from France, Italy, and Spain. Chef Mikel gave an introduction to the restaurant, and he also introduced each dish of the night as it was served.

PATATAS BRAVAS & BLISTERED SHISHITO PEPPERS
Savoie 

Savoie 

Our first two courses were the Patatas Bravas (sautéed potatoes) and Blistered Shiso Peppers. The potatoes were served with a spicy tomato sauce and ancho aioli, and these had a nice and spicy kick! I haven’t been impressed by too many places around San Diego that claim to be spicy (with the exception of a few Thai restaurants), so I was pleasantly surprised by the heat. The shishito peppers were cooked until they were slightly shriveled, and served with a tangy and creamy buttermilk thyme dressing.

PULPO TWO WAYS
Savoie 

Savoie 

Octopus seems to be the new trend – I’ve been seeing it on menus more and more frequently lately. Here, it was prepared two ways: first, as a carpaccio, topped with tentacle gremolata, Calabrian chile and oil, arugula, and ancho aioli. I loved that while this dish was so flavorful, the delicate octopus wasn’t overpowered. The second preparation was a braised and grilled tentacle, served with a morita chile pesto sauce and cacahuates, or peanuts. This, too, was delicious and showcased the octopus in an entirely different way. The peanuts provided a nice, crunchy textural contrast to the tender octopus. 

CAMBERI PICANTE
Savoie 

Next up was a sautéed shrimp, coated with a Romesco sauce made with roasted piquillo peppers and topped with chili flakes, a touch of Parmesan, and feta cheese. The shrimp was perfectly cooked, and again, I loved the bold yet balanced flavor of the sauce. Bonus – since S doesn’t eat shrimp, he gave his shrimp to me! I said that it’s a good trade-off for us – I get his shrimp, and he gets my wine – and someone immediately responded that only a “true foodie” would give up wine for shrimp, hehe.

MAILLARD SCALLOP
Savoie 

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Mess Royale revisit

Mess Royale, which opened earlier this year, is a genuine “poutinery” that serves up some delicious poutine and other Montreal eats. We first visited a couple of months ago, but made another visit lately and tried some new items. On the day we visited, there was a special for items with bacon – I believe it was $2 off, which is a pretty great deal. So, we focused on bacon items.

BABE [$11.5]
Mess Royale 

The “Babe” is pretty simple – poutine with bacon. I really enjoyed the light smokiness of the bacon paired with the cheese curds, fries, and gravy. The sprinkling of chives on top was also quite nice and gave it a bit of a refreshing taste. 

MORNING RECOVERY [$11.5]
Mess Royale 

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El Agave Tequileria

El Agave Tequileria, located in the Old Town neighborhood of San Diego, recently rolled out an “artisanal taco menu” available for lunch, and S and I were invited to check it out.

El Agave

The first thing we noticed when we walked in was – there is a lot of tequila in this restaurant!

El AgaveEl AgaveEl Agave

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The Mission (revisit)

The Mission is one of our favorite brunch spots in San Diego, but we haven’t visited in a long time – recently, S and I went out for a weekend brunch date, and I thought it’d be a good time to do a revisit post.

_DSC2415 

We decided to visit the North Park location, since I also wanted to check out The Heart & Trotter butcher shop nearby (my name is on their founders’ wall because I backed their Kickstarter campaign!). There are also The Mission locations in Mission Beach and East Village.

ROAST BEEF HASH & EGGS [$10.95]
Roast Beef Hash & Eggs 

Roast Beef Hash & Eggs 

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The Original Sab-E-Lee (new location)

The Original Sab-E-Lee is one of our favorite Thai restaurants in San Diego. The first location used to be a little “shack” on Linda Vista Road, but has recently moved into a new location just down the road.

TOSBL

The restaurant’s menu has stayed largely the same. On our first visit, we didn’t know what was special here and ordered some of the more “Americanized” Thai dishes. However, now we knew better and ordered some favorites as well as a couple of new items.

PAPAYA SALAD [$6.95]
TOSBL 
[

The papaya salad is my absolute favorite dish here, and we always order it – green papaya slices, mixed with peanuts, green onions, tomatoes, and dried shrimp, in a fish sauce, lime juice, and chili sauce. This dish hits all the taste senses and is refreshing and super flavorful.

THAI SAUSAGE [$6.95]
TOSBL 

Another must-order here is the Thai (Issan) sausage, a Northern Thailand specialty. The sausage is made from ground pork and a mix of herbs, grilled and served with ginger slices, peanuts, cilantro, and cabbage. 

BEEF LARB [$7.25]
TOSBL 

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The Whole Hog

The Whole Hog is a sandwich shop that S found on Yelp by searching for “pulled pork”. We’ve been really craving pulled pork ever since our trip to North Carolina in April. The Whole Hog boasts a “Carolina-style” pulled pork sandwich, and while I’m generally skeptical of Southern food in California, we decided to give it a try. Our friend A tagged along, too!

The Whole Hog

The restaurant is located in a small lot on Park Blvd. It was small and unassuming, yet quite charming in its own way.

The Whole Hog

We were given a quick introduction to the menu and settled on a few items to try:

PORK BELLY TACOS [$7.5]
Pork Belly Tacos

The pork belly tacos were a recent addition to the menu, I believe. The pork belly was cut into bite-sized chunks and were quite tender. I liked the pico de gallo and smoked salsa – the flavors complemented the pork belly quite nicely – but the cotija cheese and avocado crema were actually a tad overwhelming.

CAROLINA GOLD PULLED PORK SANDWICH [$8]
Pulled Pork

We learned that they actually use a South Carolinian mustard-based BBQ sauce for this pulled pork. …

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Sushi Kaito

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a pair of tickets to the Big Bite Bacon Festival! Ends TOMORROW at 11:59PM!

A couple of months back, S and I went out to dinner with our friends from Kirbie’s Cravings and One Gal’s Path. We picked Sushi Kaito, since I haven’t been there before.

Sushi Kaito

The restaurant is a small, unassuming place with a sushi bar and just a few tables. We went for an early-ish dinner (~5PM), and it’s a good thing we had reservations because it was actually pretty full.

SEAWEED SALAD
Seaweed salad

The seaweed salad was a nice, refreshing start to the meal.

BEEF TONGUE
Beef Tongue

The beef tongue was grilled lightly and had a lightly smoky taste. The slices were thick-cut – S and I prefer the more thinly-sliced type, which is less chewy, but these were still quite delicious.

CHICKEN KARAAGE
Chicken Karaage

The chicken karaage (fried chicken) here was nice and crispy, but I still prefer the version from Yakyudori Yakitori or Yokohama Yakitori Koubou.

AMBERJACK SASHIMI
Amberjack Sashimi

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